Some of the people you went to high school with never did drugs or drank. They ate French fries dipped in milkshakes, threw rolls of toilet papers over trees, believed in Jesus, and dated someone named Cynthia or Erin or Jack or Jordan. They never had sex but they rubbed each other’s bodies one night and felt bad about it so they stopped. These people graduated and either got married and had children and continued to love Jesus and French fries dipped in milkshakes, or they went completely insane. They became an alcoholic and rubbed their bodies on anyone who would let them. The good apples in high school either continue to be pure or become completely rotten. It’s what you get for believing in something before you even knew what you wanted.
Some of the people you went to high school with were very popular. They were blessed with never having to endure an awkward stage (that would come later at 26 though) and they had lots of bad sex in cars to the radio. They wore Hollister or Abercrombie and went to bonfires and played sports and drank vodka from a thermos in class. These people were the teen dream, the chosen ones. But you knew that it was going to be awful for them later when life actually mattered. No one gets to skip an awkward phase. Everyone must get theirs eventually, and the popular kids decayed like strange fruit hanging from a tall tree. They graduated and became fat or got someone pregnant or became pregnant. They didn’t know this would happen. They didn’t know that being popular in high school usually turns out to be a curse later in life. They might know it now though.
Some of the people you went to high school with were nerds. They played Dungeons and Dragons and were fat and knew all the answers to the AP History exam. Beneath all of the know-it-all exterior, they were masturbating to porn late at night and praying to get accepted by the very people they despised. The nerds continue to be nerds after high school. They don’t go through a She’s All That transformation and bang supermodels. But they do get accepted. They get a wonderful group of friends and discover that the world values and needs nerds so they’re going to be just fine. Phew.
Some of the people you went to high school with were just like you. They liked the same movies, clothes and music, and you spent all of your time together wandering down the hallways and going over to each other’s houses. You felt closer to them than you did your own family. You took photos together to establish that you were each other’s best friends and planned your futures accordingly. It was such a beautifully dark time to be close with someone. On one hand, you were so open and loving. You wanted to create your own world with your friends and get lost in conversations and go on adventures. On the other hand, you were just such…an asshole. After you graduated, the cocoon was broken and you either remained close or didn’t. Regardless of the outcome though, you will always have a bond with them. You will always flinch a little bit when you hear their name.
These people will all serve as reminders of something you will never get back. And when you go to the ten-year reunion, it will feel like you’re being punched in the stomach over and over again. Sometimes you just don’t want to see people become what they are. Sometimes you want to preserve them as the nerd, as the Christian, as The Best Friend, as the jock. It just makes everything a little bit easier.